The weather was kind over the course of this year’s annual show, and wasn’t it a treat? If you haven’t been keeping up to date, we’re here to give you a quick round-up and review of the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017.
Where better place to start than mentioning the winner of the show’s highest accolade – the Best Show Garden award – which was awarded to James and Helen Basson for their M&G garden. Inspired by abandoned limestone quarries this garden had its viewers looking up as well as around, with many of the columns standing over 8m high 13m deep. The astute garden which was ‘not supposed to be pretty’ gave it a bold presence amongst the typical beautiful and intricate displays. The Bassons were hotly tipped to win, having previously won gold two years running.
Other highlights included one breathtaking display inspired by Chinas famous 4,000 miles long Silk Road route – the Silk Road Garden designed by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins as well as veteran actress Dame Judi Dench being presented with a rose named after her, which she described as “very healthy, but with rather a laid back quality”.
The Chelsea Flower show is also known not just for its beautiful displays but also as a trendsetter in horticulture culture and this year, there were certain trends we can take into our own gardens. For instance, recent ideas of how to combine plants into tight, urban spaces have resulted in the rise of indoor and outdoor potted plants that were featured in displays. For small outside spaces or renters, these plants can be almost like a portable, fully adjustable garden which can change to suit the season or your mood.
Whilst on the topic of combining plants into premium urban spaces, growing edibles and visually striking veg were features we could all incorporate. Never was there a better example of this than in the Joe Wheatley-designed BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Taste Garden. Growing surprisingly simple veg such as lettuce and pak choi at home yield lush looking results that are perfect stepping stones for a beginner gardener.
But for those who keep a keen eye on gardening trends, it might be worth noting the ‘purple patch’ the show went through, with various shades of the colour cropping up throughout a wealth of vastly different displays, with a notable display of them being found in Chris Bradshaw’s Morgan Stanley garden.
Despite this year’s show perhaps not as many displays as we all would’ve liked, it was still arguably one of its finest. Everyone upped their standards to make up for the lack of sponsorship and we were all treated to an eclectic range of shows that can inspire everyone.